I’m empty today. Except for anxiety – lots of anxiety. Not a “good” day. I’m grateful this feeling hasn’t hit me for couple of weeks, but I could sense it coming on since Wednesday. I know what’s causing it. I’m sort of in between things right now … I’ve finished up all of the planning for the first nine months of my impending venture out “on the road”, even going so far as to lay out the groundwork for the following three. But I’m four months away from leaving. I’ve made a withdrawal from the IRA that won’t hit my account until Tuesday. With those funds, I’ll be able to start actually doing something, like getting my car worked on. But today, I can’t do any of that.
I used to listen to a CD I bought from a place called HealthJourneys. Guided imagery for therapy. They had one specifically for dealing with PTSD. It would help a bit when I was going through particularly bad episodes. But I lost it during my latest move to South Carolina.
So, I figured I’d start a new section of the blog and add some poetry … something I’ve been writing for over 30 years. Had a lot of it, stored on an old disk drive that I carried with me on the move from California to New Jersey. But I lost them all back in 2002 … someone I was living with at the time tossed the drive in the trash without me knowing about it (this was before such things as “online data backup”). Almost 200 pieces. Lost.
I haven’t written much since then. Maybe I’ll try to do that today, try to touch the inner part of me that still feels so raw when I go near it. In the meantime, I thought I’d share two old pieces. I wrote the first one in the late 90’s, around the time of divorce #2. The second came around 2005 (one of the only pieces I’ve written since losing all my old stuff). I wrote it during a period of “nightmare sleep” (something a lot of PTSD sufferers experience).
Both represent an integral part of who I am.
I remember sitting in the clouds (it seems so long ago)
and my teacher was beside me. I was asking him to show
me, give me guidance, to help me plainly see
the lesson I must tackle on my next lifetime journey.
He said, “My friend, you needn’t ask. The answer’s in your heart.
I sense you’d rather tarry though. Are you afraid to start
your next adventure? Is there something that you dread?”
(He always sees right through me, even when things go unsaid.)
“I guess I am afraid old man. This one’s not like the rest.
I sense that in the life to come, the things I’ll have to test
won’t be my strength or character. I’ve done that all before.
No, I’m afraid that in the life to come, I’ll have to face much more.
You see, I know I’m at the point in my eternal quest
where the lesson I must learn is how to cope with loneliness.
I wish I didn’t have to, but I know that it must be
or I’ll never hear that still, small voice that speaks inside of me.
But then, you know that! In other lives, I’ve never taken time
to pore through books. To sing a song. To sit and pen a rhyme.
To feel. To want. To ache. To love. To be torn by inner pain.
To be touched by children’s laughter. To dance out in the rain.”
The terse reply? “You’ll do just fine. We’ve had this talk before.”
So we hugged, and then said our goodbyes. And I went off to be born.
But now that I’ve been on this plane for lo, these many years.
I’ve come to understand why I had all those pre-birth fears.
For loneliness and heartache truly are quite hard to face.
But if I want ascension, I know I must embrace
the pain and angst that keeps me searching for a sense of “home” …
or I’d have never heard that still, small voice which helped me write this poem.
Here it is, it’s late at night.
That’s when the visions always come.
That pain, the deep sense of fright
and hopeless loss of faith numbs
the senses. All my regrets,
all the things i’ve left undone …
they’ll fade … yeah right, when it gets
lighter, usually when the sun
breaks. God! Chase these ghouls away!
But they’re back again to haunt
me when night swallows the day,
and with their mouths full of taunt!
Hamlet said, “to sleep perchance
to dream”? Bullshit! If i say
what I want, well, fat chance
i’d wish for dreams. No way!
i just want
to find peace …